My husband doesn’t travel near as often as he used to but when he does, I’m literally counting down the hours until he gets home. As much as I get annoyed about his Tasmanian devil effect when he gets home (keys in one place, shoes in another, computer bag in another, watch in another … you get the idea), he does sooooo much that when he’s gone, I’m beat. I honestly don’t know how I managed life when he traveled every week.
So this week, he left on Saturday afternoon and I kid you not, my husband had been gone for all of fifteen minutes when my lovely six year old daughter said (in her best dramatic voice), “I miss Daddy Sooooooo much.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, good God, we have five more sleeps without daddy! Does it make me a horrible mother to wake up in the morning, look at the clock and think, “only twelve more hours until they go to bed?” Because, when dada is out of town, I can’t even control the thought seaping from my brain.
My husband is soooooo beyond helpful when it comes to taking care of the kids. We have an awesome system so long as he is here participating. The alarm goes off at 6:30AM and for some reason, my kids don’t need coffee to fuel their energy … and they want breakfast immediately (imagine that). So, I’m dragging out of bed at the speed of an elderly woman, I immediatly look at the clock and then that horrible thought creaps in. And it makes me feel awful!! I prayed for these healthy children. BEGGED to be a mother … and then I think to myself, “God, I can’t wait for bed?” It sounds (and often feels) very horrible. Does anyone else ever have that thought?
Back to our day, I make breakfast, make the coffee, help Sabrina pack her lunch, and make sure two kids are dressed and ready to go by 7:07AM. Damn that bus, it’s early. By the time my two year old and I get back to the house I’m thinking, “where’s daddy … I miss him soooooo much.” Because, bus duty is for dads and come to think of it, so is making the breakfast and bringing coffee to me in bed. :) Hey, he hasn’t made a school lunch all year … but he makes a very lovely cup of coffee! Plus, I have early onset arthitis in both of my hands so it takes a few minutes to wake them up. And, in the cold weather, it feels like they never quite wake up. So, it’s all of 7:15AM and we have twelve hours left in the day … and my 2 year old has energy that simply doesn’t quit. He also has made saying the word ‘mama’ an olympic event … and he goes for gold each and every day!! Our afternoons are filled with play dates and activities and homework.
So, at six in the evening, when daddy is normally home handing me a lovely glass of red wine, I’m trying to put together something that looks like a meal (last night, hot soy butter and jelly sandwiches with pineapple spears). And then the last hour is filled with normal nighttime routine stuff. We have it down … and the kids are in bed and I’m out of their rooms almost exactly at seven! And, then I put on my pajamas and try to finish everything that I didn’t actually get done that day. You know, laundry. Kids like to wear fresh clothes (actually … mine probably wouldn’t care … but I like them to wear fresh clothes).
The thing is, when daddy is out of town, there is simply no break. So, when the tantrums start, or the sibling fighting starts or the sibling screaming (joyous or not) — mommy is frazzled and easily annoyed. I’m not near as patient and I hate it! My two year old is wearing me down … it’s like he senses that if he just whines a *few* more minutes, he’ll get what he wants. Twizzlers for dinner? Okay. Fine. There’s fruit in that — says so on the package.
Maybe when my kids are older and they can quietly play outside, it may get easier. But for now, daddy gets home in t-minus 22 hours.
PS: It makes me appreciate my hubby THAT much more when he IS home … even if I forget to tell him everyday (or ever)! XOXOXO to my bear.